recently had a successful back operation at Highland Hospital in Rochester. She
stayed on the sixth floor. Doctors and staff were great. And something else was
great: the view from her window. You could see downtown Rochester, including Kodak and other important buildings. We actually
saw a fantastic sunset over Rochester #12 School. I always feel a nostalgic when I see an elementary school--that is, I wish that I was in it performing poetry.
I had no camera until the next day. So, I took this shot in the morning...
Not far from Mar's room there was a visitor's lounge where I took this photo through a smudged-caked window...
doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
computers are good, they are good. When computers are bad, they are bad. We
tend to take them for granted when they run smoothly, and when they “crash” or
become infected with a virus, it’s the end of the world. Trying the same thing
over and over hardly ever fixes them. Albert is right. It’s insane to do the
same thing again and again hoping to fix your computer.
On the other
hand, I have learned that computers and printers lie. I’ve had a computer tell
me a number of times that what I just tried to do can’t be done, and then a
second later it’s opening up the folder that I requested or doing exactly what
I wanted to do in the first place without me doing anything extra. So, why did
it tell me that it couldn’t do it? I don’t have a clue.
And when the
printer tells you that it’s “low on ink” it may be telling you a big fat fib.
The machine doesn’t actually measure the ink level. It counts the number of
sheets that you use, and it gives you’re a ballpark figure in terms of how much
ink you have left.
If the printer has the gall to tell you, “Using your
printer without ink can harm your computer”, that’s another lie. It just won’t
print anything for you without ink. The bottom
line is: if it doesn’t work right the first time around, it okay to try at
least one more time.
When they have anniversaries of sad or tragic events, the
years seem to skip by, and I am always asking myself the same question, “Was it
really that long ago? It seems like it happened last week.” Maybe that’s true
for me because those memories of events seem so vivid.”
I don’t know why I had the television on that morning, but I
did. I saw the second plane hit the second tower as it occurred on TV. The host
of the Morning Show didn’t know what was going on in New York City, possibly a
whole invasion of the city, starting with two planes used for the destruction
of landmark buildings and thousands of lives
At that time in my life I had been retired a year, and we
were in the middle of a painting all the ceilings in our house. So, we had the
TV on constantly. We stopped whatever we were doing for new news about the
incident. From our covered sofa and other chairs, the tears filled up our
hearts and mind, as relatives looked for their missing loved ones. Those scenes
are etched in my heart.
Soon after that there was a new spirit in America—cars where
driving with little American flags on them, many houses proudly displayed flags,
people were opening doors for one another, and smiling at strangers. We were
all glad to be alive, and determined to live in a better, safer world.
That “high” of good feeling and good in the country has
certainly declined, due to two wars and bad economic times. If only we could
put our tears symbolically in one place and move on with a brighter spirit,
while never forgetting 9/11.
That is possible—at least to put our tears symbolically in
one place. There is real 100-foot Teardrop
Memorial that was dedicated September 11, 2006 in a ceremony attended by former
President Clinton and other dignitaries. The sculpture was donated by the
Russian people and is located in New Jersey.
The Teardrop Memorial is very
large, big enough to contain all our sacred tears for those who died...
Do you want to string together some effective blogs or poems? There's only one way to do it: Putt butt on chair, and do it. There's no magic potent or silver thread. I now have Jim Denney's essential habits of writing hanging right near my computer. Maybe it will inspire you too:
Seven Essential Habits of
a Working Writer are:
Cultivate the Art of Solitude Amid
Write Quickly and With Intensity
Set Ambitious But Achievable Goals
Finish What You Start and Submit
What You Finish
Believe You Can
writing, habit seems to be a much stronger force than either willpower or
I was driving my car today, and the car in front of me had this bumper sticker: "Anger is a gift." And I thought, "Wow! What a right on concept!"
Anger tells us that something is wrong, and we better correct the situation, if it's humanly possible. It also reminds us that we have values, and that we are passionate people. You have to feel strongly about something to get angry about it. Your mind is screaming for you to "Do something!" And I don't mean pull out your .45 Magnum revolver. You're not going to make anyone's day with that. Maybe it's time to evaluate what's going on to make you so angry, and then do some problem solving.
In today's e-mail, Wings for the Heart Motivational Newsletter (http://www.wingsfortheheart.com), I came across five steps for striving to be happy. What would your five steps be? Well, I found step two rather interesting:
Have a healthy outlet for your anger - you need to let your frustrations out.
Talk to someone if you must or go to the gym to pump out those happy hormones.
Studies show that people who exercise are more readily able to find solutions
to their problems.
That sounds like good advice to me, if you want to be happy.
Nevertheless, never forget: Anger is a gift, and it's what you do with it that counts--like all gifts.
What do you
do when holding your latest copy of your book and you are asked the above? You
give your elevator speech. You tell that person the most important things about your
book, as fast as you can, before the elevator stops at the interested person’s
speak quickly and carefully, explaining the value and benefit of your book to
readers. You need to give them a reason to care, and to share your special
qualifications for writing it.
What might I say
about Waiting to See the Principal and
“Waiting to See the Principal and
Other Poems is a book
with almost 60 poems and sketches about home, school, parents, siblings,
sports, pets, and wild things. The poems make kids want to chant the lines that
are repeated, and to laugh out loud. Teachers and parents love the book because
it encourages the joy of poetry and the creative process. It also makes a great
gift of kids and teachers. I was a teacher for thirty-three years, and I know kids love funny poetry.”
the elevator doors can open.
the elevator speech can be given anywhere when you’re pressed for time.
Jacquie is all of the above and more! In my book of “Best People” she is
simply a wonderful lady. She could also be called a “humorist” which she labeled
me when awarding her gold star of the month at…
Yes, she has a tremendous sense of humor, and she is a gifted writer and
speaker. I will let her tell you why this former First Grade Teacher of
forty-one years spends so much time speaking and writing. What follows is a
partial list of the places and states that she visits to speak, copied from her
I'm often asked why I spend so much time speaking and writing, and
my answer is always the same. I want to make a difference. And besides that, I
love what I do. I get to meet new people (some in person and some online), see
new places, taste new foods, and learn new things. And that, my friends, is
what I believe retirement should be — making a difference and doing what you
enjoy. I plan to ride this merry-go-round for a few more years, and perhaps one
day I'll look out in the audience and see you. I hope so.
Following is a partial list of my scheduled speaking appearances.
If you live near one of these locations and would like more information, just
hit the Contact link and tell me how I can help. And if you attend one of these
functions, please seek me out and introduce yourself. I'd love to meet you
Wisconsin: CESA #3 - EDUConference 2010.
"The Write Way." 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.; July 28-29, 2010.
Iowa: Seton Catholic School Staff
Development. Will meet in Shannon Hall, located in the basement of St.
John the Baptist Catholic Church; 10 a.m. - 12 noon on August 16, 2010.
City, South Dakota:
Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center. International Reading Association
state conference. October 14-16, 2010.
Pennsylvania: Hershey Conference Center.
KSRA conference. October 24-27, 2010.
Iowa: Public Library. Northeast
Iowa Reading Council. "The Write Way." November 10, 2010. 5 p.m.
- 7 p.m.
Rock, Arkansas: Arkansas Reading Association
State Conference. Little Rock Convention Center and Peabody Hotel.
November 18-19, 2010.
Illinois: International Reading
Association conference. March 17-19, 2011.
Canada: Saskatoon Reading Conference
2011. "Building Bridges Through Literacy" at Saskatoon
Travelodge Hotel. April 7-8, 2011.
Grove, Illinois: NIU Summer Literary Conference.
June 21, 2011.
My name is Jacquie
McTaggart. I have one husband, two sons, six grandkids, and 1500 former
students. I'd love to brag about the whole tribe and tell you how great each of
them are, but you might find that a tad boring. So...I'll simply say they are
the best and let it go at that.
I live with my husband,
Carroll, in Independence, Iowa. He is retired; I am not. Well, not in the
truest sense of the word. I did accept an early-retirement package from the
Independence School District in 2001 — following a 42-year teaching career. I
did not, however, forsake my quest to help kids become the best that they can
be. Fortunately, my husband supports my passion, and teachers throughout the
country help me implement it.
My first book, From
the Teacher's Desk, was released in December 2003. In April 2004 I was a
featured speaker at North Dakota's International Reading Association state
conference, and in April 2009 I returned to ND for my 50th IRA speaking
assignment. And I pick up new ideas at every conference. Teachers are always
willing to share, and I'm always eager to listen. It's a win-win combination.
My most recent book, If
They Don't Learn the Way You Teach, Teach the Way They Learn, was released
in August 2009. The book includes all of the materials, lists, methods, and
practices that I talk about in the eight different presentations I give at IRA
conferences, reading/writing workshops, library conferences, and teacher
in-service training. You can see chapter reviews by clicking on the books at
this site's homepage. Hint: From the Teacher's Desk is a
treasure trove for parents, whereas If They Don't Learn the Way You
Teach, Teach the Way They Learn is primarily for teachers.
I update the material at
the Teacher's Desk on the first day of every month. Teachers throughout the
country tell me what is working for them and what is not, and I have the honor
of passing it on to you. I invite you to join our "For the Love of
Kids" family. Sign up for the free newsletter, and if at any time you have
a question or suggestion, just use the Contact link and shoot me an email. I'd
love to hear from you.
As for being my friend, I am thankful that Jacquie and I can share
laughs and inspiration online, since she lives in Iowa, and I live in New York.
She is my BIF, Best Internet Friend, and an inspiration to many.